Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pammukkale to Lake Egridir

The trip across was by train and they settled in to a great hotel across the road from the wonderful shining white terraces, the hotel owner drove them up to the Heiropolis entrance,(where D nearly stood on a small thin green snake nearly a metre long) that made her leap.
The walked through the ruins along the top of a ridge with the terraces spilling off to the west, after walking for about half an hour they came upon the antique hot pool with the old  columns artfully placed around in it. Water temp 36° they stayed around in it for about an hour luxuriating. Then paddled back down the hill to the hotel through the travertne shallows.
Next day, was a tour with 5 other people to Aphrodisius where D got all excited because she spotted a hoopoe bird. Rare in Turkey these days. The stadium of this ancient city still in really good repair for a place a few thousand years old. It seated 30,000 bodies. That afternoon it was back on the coach and off to Lake Egridir. This is in the mountains of central Turkey, where the beautiful roses ars grown for their oil.Attar of Rose. More later...

Last week in Turkey

This is the is D and G's last week in Turkey before they head off to Venice. So here's the updates, with some photos and more, when they get to Italy. Ephesus and the small town of Selcuk, with the storks, nesting on the tops of the power poles, the minarets - the mums and Dads take off at prayer call time, unfortunately, the bubbies have stay and get themselves, blasted by the speakers.  Selcuk museum, though small, was very interesting, G bought a CD of Turkish instrumental music that was playing. The was a very old road, now next to a busy highway, which the locals use for walking, it used to be for donkey carts, horses etc, but it's too narrow for the traffic these days. It is lined with huge mulberry trees, alternately black and white mulberries, yummy all fruit ripe and dropping. It runs for a couple of kms past the entry to the Artemis temple site. It's a very elegant boulevard of dappled light in the early morning.
Leaving Selcuk, they travelled on the commuter train to Pamukkale, a very fast two hours, lovely clean, train NO GRAFFITI!  Turkish kids must be having more fun.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ephesus nr Selcuk

The blog has been somewhat neglected for a while.  So much going on. Stayed in the hotel Rebetika beside an ancient mosque Isa Bey Camil, fell down a few centuries ago, after an earthquake, but has bow been partially restored, is very elegant and is used by the local old boys at prayer time.  The nesting storks use the minaret, to rear their babies. Photos coming soon. They fly off when the megaphoned call to prayer starts. Poor nestlings can't though.  It was so lovely to see the storks again, not seen since the Morocco adventure. Ephesus, was amazing, and typically, D and G started from the lower end so it was a long slow and steady climb, as the day heated up and the coach loads from the cruise ships and the tours arrived. 25000 per day now but goes up to 250000 at full peak with 10 ambulances on standby. Even with all the crowds it was a truly amazing sight. The tour guides had a set path so it as relatively easy to get away from the crowds.  The beautiful red flanders poppies we blooming everywhere amongst the fallen marble columns, supported by Queen Anne's lace with flower heads as big as saucers and bigger. Fig trees ancient and huge provided shade.
On the way back down they got a ride in a horse drawn buggy and wou d their way through pomegranate and nectarine orchards, all red and glowing in the shady green trees, as they clip clopped along.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bursa and Beyond

After a 2 hour fast ferry trip from Istanbul D and  G arrived in Mudanya, a lovely seaside town near Bursa, the 2nd largest city in Turkey, staying at the Montania hotel, an old railway station built by the French in the 1800's. A bit down at heel in the rooms, but lovely and relaxing after all the bad stuff that's been happening here. Mate died from stress, so now no easterngrey joey babies have survived the latest release.
From room in Montania

They had a really relaxing time here and next day travelled on to Bursa, the silk centre of Turkey, had a wonderful time exploring the silk bazaar. Didn't buy anything but did  a lot of admiring. There was also a cable car trip to the top of Uludag mountain, to the ski resort area above the city. beautiful wildflowers in bloom, all our garden flowers.  Very chilly at that altitude but lovely and sunny, and lots of rubbish, beautiful mountain streams, chilly and clear. The next was a walk through the spice market, buying beautiful fresh and crunchy hazelnuts, native to this area. Beautiful fresh almonds, yummy fresh dried figs.  Everything was so relaxed unlike Istanbul.  Another lovely walk was to the green mosque, stunning green tiles, perfect for D's bathroom. If only they were available in Oz.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Heybeliada - Princes Islands Istanbul

Awaiting brekkie at L'isola guesthouse
Seagulls on rooftops nesting in guttering.

Ponies off to work

Istanbul to Heybeliada

Needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke, so the Princes Island group was the choice.  L'isola Guesthouse, on Heybeliada.  What a place to wind down, especially after the horrible news of Bro and Merinda, very hilly, with the whole places roofs becoming nesting sites for the huge seagulls. There seemed to be as many cats here as in Istanbul, heaps of dogs too.  No-one seemed the least bit interested in a sterilisation programme.  It is kitten time now so, although very cute, the numbers are swelling.
Oh it would be so easy just a quick nick with the razor blade, to the boys.
One of the original houses, in Heybeliada, neglected because they can't be removed only renovated.

Anyway, D and G walked the road around the island, which is lovely despite the piles of garbage. Horse drawn carriages, no private cars allowed. Really peaceful, even managed to breakout the sketchbook and charcoal. After 3 nights back to the ferry for the 90 minute trip back to Istanbul for two days.
Next adventure by fast ferry to Mudanya then Bursa.

Pictures from Istanbul

Not praying-photographing!!
Hagia Sofia
the spice bazaar

A bucket of Suckers - leeches

Monday, June 4, 2012

Istanbul May 21

The picture below is looking from the terrace of the Hotel Sebnem down to the steep street.

After a long flight overnight they arrived, reasonably relaxed, only to discover that the price of visas for Australians had gone from $US20 to $US60 or 45 euros payable immediately in that currency prior notification.  Luckily G was prepared, maybe he was a boy scout in another life. LOL. Istanbul, was hectic, exciting, hilly, crazy and hugely interestîng. The hotel Sebnem in Sultanahmet was a lovely small family run place with fantastic views from the roof terrace, the brekkie spot, a fitting place for the truly magnificent repast.  A few days later they met up with D's brother and sister-in-law and all had lunch together before the WA connection had to travel on.

Friday, June 1, 2012

News from D and G

The first few days of the trip were spent in a really nice boutique hotel, named the Puri Melaka it had been the family home of Chinese merchants and is very cloyse to Jonkers St, a real tourist trap.  D and G used to get up about 6.30am and go walking for an hour or two befor
e a sumptuous brekkie.  They took a trip on the river and saw some really interesting sights, including this huge scary monster, who could easily eat a joey. They left after 4 days and flew on to Istanbul.

This scary monitor was spotted by G when he and D took a boat trip along the Melaka river. It was relaxing (waiting for a victim?) whenthey saw it they reckon it was two metres long.
This little cafe was also spotted from the ferry.

 Reggae by the River
water monitor